In an exclusive interview, esctoday.com speaks to Igor Cukrov this year's Croatian representative in the Eurovision Song Contest. In this interview Igor talks about his experience in the regional Pop Idol show and how he hopes this will help him make an impression in the contest. Igor also talks about working with the famous Croatian composer Toni Huljic and some surprise changes in the presentation of his entry for the Eurovision stage in Moscow which will including new outfits.
Hi Igor, first of all congratulation on being selected to represent Croatia in the Eurovision Song Contest. How does it feel to be representing your country in the contest?
It's a great honour to represent my country in such a big competition with such a rich tradition.
It was certainly the strongest Dora (Croatian national final) we have seen in a number of years. What was your expectation before the Dora and how did you feel immediately after winning the competition?
Results of the Croatian competition were so close that I almost did not believe we were winners when they announced us… To be honest, it took me couple of days to realize that I'll be representing Croatia in Moscow.
With the presentation of Lijepa Tenais we will see a welcome return to the most successful Croatian composer Tonci Huljic and lyricist Vjekoslava Huljic to the Eurovision Song Contest after their previous entries Strings of My Heart (2001), Marija Magdalena (1999) and Nostalgija (1995). How did you get together with Tonci and Vjekoslava and how did you enjoy working with these composers?
This is my first song composed by Mr. Tonci Huljic and Ms. Vjekoslava Huljic who composed lyrics and since the beginning of our cooperation all I experienced were positive things. Mr. Tonci was several times on ESC so he has many advices to often which I appreciate very much.
How would you describe your song Lijepa Tenais?
Lijepa Tena is a song about beautiful women that stand by their ideals which they appreciate.
Igor, you took part in the Balkan version of Operacija Trijumf (PopIdol). Please tell me a little bit about this show and your experienceas a participant?
You said it well – Operacija Trijumf was, in a way, regional Pop Idol with singers from ex-Yugoslavia competing. It was a great experience since it was televised in all ex-Yugoslav countries. I did not make it to the finals, but the experience – singing in front of big audience (both in studio and television) was really, really great.
Do you think that the experience you gained participating in OperacijaTrijumf will help you during the Eurovision Song Contest in Moscow?
Maybe, we'll see! Previous contests have shown that people from ex-Yugoslav countries still like and vote for contestants from other ex-Yugoslav countries. What will happen this year, we'll see. It is hard to expect something, but hope is always there! And the fact that I have been in Operation Triumf, could help. But, in the end, it's all about song – if people like it, they might vote. If they don't like it, they will not vote. Simple as that – you can not expect anything if you don't have a song.
How do you plan to present your entry on the Eurovision stage?
The stage presentation in Moscow will be much different then the one in Croatian national contest, but that's all I can say now. It is better to be left as a surprise! We added back vocals on stage and also in total outfit some changes will be made. But I must leave some surprises for Russia! About the language – we are going to sing Lijepa Tena in Croatian because we are representing Croatia.
Can you tell me a little about your singing partner Andrea.
It appeared to be a very productive collaboration, in musical, vocal and visual meaning. Besides, her voice makes a song even better!
I understand that you are currently a student of Theology. How are you managing to combine your music career with your studies?
Ha ha, this question I hear a lot… But no, I'm not a theology student anymore. Like you said it, it was hard to manage it both at the same time so I had to choose… Like you see, I chose singing, but it doesn't mean I changed my mind about theology. It's just that you can't always do everything you want…
Finally do you have a message for esctoday.com readers?
I hope you like Lijepa Tena and I hope you vote for us!
Igor, thank you very much for talking to esctoday.com and may I wish the very best of luck for Moscow.